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Esau asks why lawyers who received money are still free

Former fisheries minister Bernard Esau, who is fighting for bail, asked the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court why some lawyers who disbursed money from Fishcor have not been arrested.

Esau and his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi are seeking bail from the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.

Both were arrested in November last year on allegations of fraud and money laundering among many other charges.

The other accused Ricardo Gustavo and Mike Nghipunya have already sought bail and were denied, while former finance minister Sacky Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo are yet to ask for bail.

Esau has denied any wrongdoing and wants to know why lawyers such as Sisa Namandje and Maren de Klerk whose trust accounts were used to deposit more than N$100m are yet to be arrested.

Earlier, ACC senior investigator Willem Olivier had told the court that their investigation found that there was a well-thought-out plan to use Nengomar for money laundering by the Fishrot accused.

Nengomar is the joint venture between Namibia and Angola that was managed by Gustavo from his home. Gustavo told the same court when he was seeking bail that he was being paid N$1m per month for working for the company.

Gustavo, however, denied any wrongdoing saying that he has never stolen a cent in his whole life. Nghipunya too denied any wrongdoing saying that he received orders and he carried them out.

Olivier also said that Shanghala (while LRDC chair) had no authority to draft fishing quota agreements with the government and Angola as he did.

“Only the fisheries minister or attorney general could enter into such agreements,” the investigator said.

Oliveira showed the court a picture of Bernard Esau and an Icelandic fishing official in Tamson Hatuikulipi’s house where the plan was carried out.

But Esau said there was no intention to corruptly conspire to use his office as minister or position for gratification from the quota allocations to Nengomar Pesca.

“This was impossible given the input required by the technocrats at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. I was not empowered to make any unilateral decision in the conclusion of the inter-government agreement,” he said.

Esau is putting on the table his assets worth N$23m as well as N$50 000 cash to buy his temporary freedom.

In his application for bail, Tamson said has been self-employed since 2003 and takes care of his retired mother and children of his divorced brother.

He also said that his son settled in well as a learner at Windhoek Gymnasium and he has no intention of moving him elsewhere.

Tamson Fitty Hatuikulupi told the court that he and his wife are married out of community of property. Tamson said he is a self-employed person since 2003 and look after his retired mother and children of his divorced brother.

His Son is at Windhoek Gymnasium and has settled in well and has no intention of moving him elsewhere.


Wonder Guchu

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